Take Out the Trash

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:31-32 

    Last week’s journal was about “cleaning house”, emptying ourselves and allowing room for the Holy Spirit to make His home in us. It may be somewhat easy to “clean house”,  but if we don’t “take out the trash”, (leave our burdens with God), we are tempted to “pick them back up”. Then we are right back to a messy house.

    For many years I struggled with bad feelings toward a couple of people in my past. I routinely prayed for God to change those feelings and give me peace. It was easy to “clean house” by recognizing that I needed to remove my bitterness, hatred, and unforgiveness, but I didn’t “take out the trash”.  Instead, I held on to it by rehearsing in my mind the events that took place and the things that hurt me. I continued to be bitter and not forgive which then led to anger, unhappiness, low self-esteem, and more. Once I started doing what it takes by “taking out the trash”, I began to forgive and find peace which led to patience, kindness and love.

Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. Psalm 55:22

    It doesn’t say to give your burdens to the Lord, then take them back. No, He wants us to let Him deal with them.

    When we take back our burdens or don’t give them to God in the first place, we are telling Him that we don’t trust Him. How does that make Him, God of the Universe, feel?

     Reasons we take them back may be because it’s a habit, we are independent and think we can do things on our own, or we don’t understand how big our God is.

     So, what can you do to “take out your trash”, i.e.: leave your burdens with God?

             -Pray! We can’t develop a relationship with someone if we don’t talk to them, even God. In communicating with Him, you gain trust and begin to shift your focus to Him instead of on your burdens.

            -Be conscience of your thoughts. Don’t let the past replay in your mind. Replace those negative thoughts with good thoughts.

             -Dwell in God’s Word. That’s one way He communicates with us. Find encouraging verses to rehearse. Write them on a sticky note or postcard. Read them often.

             -Find and focus on positive things. Look for the good in others and in situations. Look for God in everything. He’s there.

     What are you hanging on to that you need to take out to the trash? Regret or hurt in your past? Ill feelings towards someone? Guilt? A character defect or habit?   Whatever it is, God wants you to give it to Him.
~Joanie Lawrence-Cain